clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Seahawks might go old again in draft

Wild Card Round - Seattle Seahawks v Philadelphia Eagles Photo by Steven Ryan/Getty Images

When the Seattle Seahawks selected defensive end L.J. Collier out of TCU in the first round of the 2019 NFL Draft many fans were incensed. Not only did some fans believe that the Hawks had used a first round pick on a player who might have been available on Day 2 or possibly even Day 3 of the draft, the pick was used on a player who would turn 24 years old just four days after the start of the 2019 season. However, as the draft continued on, Collier wasn’t the only player whose age made some do a double take when it comes to looking at rookies.

There is no question that the most widely recognized 2019 Seahawk draftee who is considered old for their experience level is wide receiver John Ursua. Ursua was the second oldest player drafted in 2019, behind only punter Mitch Wishnowsky of the San Francisco 49ers. However, even Collier and Ursua together don’t comprise the entire group of players that would be considered old for NFL rookies drafted by Seattle in 2019. In fact, here are the 40 oldest players selected in the 2019 draft.

40 oldest players selected in the 2019 NFL Draft (Seahawks players in bold)

Drafted Player Date of Birth
Drafted Player Date of Birth
Mitch Wishnowsky 3/3/1992
John Ursua 1/17/1994
Matt Gay 3/15/1994
Ka'dar Hollman 9/18/1994
Ryan Finley 12/26/1994
Donovan Wilson 2/21/1995
Kaleb McGary 2/22/1995
Will Grier 4/3/1995
Chase Winovich 4/19/1995
Ross Pierschbacher 5/5/1995
Derwin Gray 5/10/1995
Cullen Gillaspia 5/12/1995
Nick Scott 5/17/1995
E.J. Speed 6/1/1995
Sione Takitaki 6/8/1995
Garrett Bradbury 6/20/1995
Andrew Van Ginkel 7/1/1995
Tommy Sweeney 7/1/1995
Demarcus Christmas 7/4/1995
Kaden Elliss 7/10/1995
Dalton Risner 7/13/1995
Tim Harris 7/31/1995
Jackson Barton 8/8/1995
Drue Tranquill 8/15/1995
Trace McSorley 8/23/1995
Jimmy Moreland 8/26/1995
L.J. Collier 9/12/1995
Trevon Wesco 9/12/1995
Travis Fulgham 9/13/1995
Gerri Green 9/14/1995
Terry McLaurin 9/15/1995
Easton Stick 9/15/1995
Dontavius Russell 9/18/1995
Andre Dillard 10/3/1995
Jordan Brailford 10/9/1995
Juan Thornhill 10/19/1995
Phil Haynes 10/19/1995
Renell Wren 10/23/1995
Dakota Allen 11/2/1995
Lonnie Johnson 11/4/1995

So, adding fourth rounder Phil Haynes and sixth round selection Demarcus Christmas to the list of 2019 Seahawks draftees who are among the oldest in the entire NFL, Seattle selected four of the 37 oldest players taken. A team drafting one or two older players would not be unexpected, but when a single team is responsible for taking more than 10% of the players at one end of the age spectrum in a single draft, it would certainly seem to point to a strategy.

With that in mind, and with the new CBA cutting training camp practice time yet again, it would certainly seem possible that Seattle could once again target older, more experienced players. Specifically, of these four players, they all played a significant number of games in college. Haynes started 47 games on the offensive line for Wake Forest, Christmas played in 44 games for the Seminoles and Collier played in 33 games in college. Ursua also saw the field in 33 contests in college, which is somewhat impressive given that he turned pro after his junior season.

Interestingly, in spite of four of eleven of the 2019 draftees being among the oldest players taken in the draft, the draftees who saw the field the most for the Seahawks during the season were the younger players. Here are how many snaps each player in the draft class saw for the team last season.

2019 offensive and defensive snap counts for Seahawks draftees (sorted by player age, oldest to youngest)

Player Offensive/Defensive Snaps
Player Offensive/Defensive Snaps
John Ursua 11
Demarcus Christmas 0
L.J. Collier 152
Phil Haynes 0
Cody Barton 151
Gary Jennings 0
Ugo Amadi 76
Marquise Blair 230
DK Metcalf 927
Travis Homer 84
Ben Burr-Kirven 0

Thus, even though the team drafted multiple of the older players available in 2019, the younger players were more likely to see the field over the course of the season, with DK Metcalf and Marquise Blair logging the most offensive and defensive snaps in the draft class. So, while the team certainly seems to have targeted more experienced players in the draft last year, whether they will do so again in 2020 will be something worth watching next week.